I love chilli, unabashedly. When i was in the States, and when all they had was tomato ketchup (and mind you, i do also love ketchup very much, much more than the fast food chilli packets in fact), a little part of me died after two weeks. I missed sambal kangkong, spicy (Level 2 please) buffalo wings, the savoury nasi lemak chilli, the chilli flakes on beehoon/spaghetti and the ultimately satisfying Peng Her.
This weekend, i realised to my absolute horror, that there is more than one person who eats Peng her (ie barbecued stingray, yes, that tender fish rightfully covered with a generous dose of spicy, tasty sambal chilli, lying contentedly on smooth banana leaves and accompanied by a lime or two) WITHOUT the sambal chilli.
This, to me, is something i cannot fathom. I first came across such a person, a school mate, who mortified me when she made this order at Market 85: “Uncle, one Peng Her. But i don’t want any chilli”. What?! But a Peng Her without sambal is…is like a person without clothes!!! I thought she was one in a million, maybe zillion, and i will never meet such a person again.
Well, it has been proven that I said never way too early. Today marks the second time in my life i heard this strange request when ordering Peng Her. I was stunned for a moment. Now in case you think i am making a mountain out of a molehill, stare at the picture. Isn’t it nearly a sin to strip this Peng Her of its best friend, the sambal chilli?
Tell me you agree with me.